A&S in the News: February 25-March 3, 2018

Actor’s Charitable Theatre

Lend a Hand: Musical brings Dr. Seuss’ message of hopeTuscaloosa News – Feb. 25

A portion of the proceeds generated by the Actor’s Charitable Theatre’s production of “Seussical the Musical” will benefit Success By Six, an early childhood initiative of United Way of West Alabama. . . . Maggie Butler, a student at The University of Alabama, will portray Gertude McFuzz. She says she relates to the character on many levels. “Gertrude is this sort of hopeless romantic that keeps on going despite her clumsiness and awkwardness,” Butler said.

Gun Violence

UA criminal justice professor comments on gun violence in America (Live Interview)CNN-International (International) – Feb. 25

Why is gun culture in America so pervasive and so different from the rest of the world? Joining me now are two scholars who have thought, written, and spoken at length about these issues. Saul Cornell is a professor of American history at Fordham University and former director of the second amendment research center at the John Glenn Institute and Adam Lankford is from The University of Alabama. Thank you both for joining me. Adam, let me begin with you.

Talk Therapy

Beverly Thorn

Dr. Beverly Thorn

Talk therapy could curb opioid crisis: Study shows the method helps ease chronic painDaily Mail (U.K.) – Feb. 26

Addressing the psychological impact of chronic pain is just as important as addressing the issue itself, new research claims. The study found people who received psychotherapy, such as simplified pain education and cognitive behavioral therapy, had a greater reduction in pain intensity than those who received usual care such as opioids and other pain medications. Opioids are commonly prescribed for chronic pain, which affects more than 116 million Americans, which is why hospitals have been linked to the epidemic. The new study, conducted by researchers from The University of Alabama, suggests talk therapy could provide a new approach to pain management.
Science Mag – Feb. 26
Healio – Feb. 26
Med Page Today – Feb. 26
Celebrity Rave – Feb. 26
MD Alert – Feb. 26
Express Digest – Feb. 26
Physician’s Briefing – Feb. 26


Terpsichord presenting dance concert contrasting light, shadowTimes Free-Press (Chattanooga, Tennessee) – Feb. 27

Terpsichord, the contemporary dance company of Girls Preparatory School, will present “Chiaroscuro,” a dance concert contrasting light and shadow, at the school, 205 Island Ave., this weekend … Terpsichord’s contemporary dance pieces feature student and guest choreographers. This year, dancers received instruction from Lawrence Jackson, an assistant professor of dance at The University of Alabama, and Daniel Gwirtzman, artistic director of his New York City-based dance company.

Anti-Vaxxer Movement

Twitter a major platform in the growth of the anti-vaxxer movement, study findsStudy Finds – Feb. 27

Anti-vaccination sentiment has been building in the United States over the past five years, with Twitter being one of the most instrumental vehicles for those who oppose traditional vaccines, a new study finds. Using a machine-learning algorithm, researchers from the University of Colorado and The University of Alabama analyzed more than 500,000 tweets from across the U.S. between 2009 and 2015. The researchers limited their range to only include tweets that mentioned autism and vaccines.

Black Student Union

BSU celebrates 50 years of supporting studentsCrimson White – Mar. 1

Founded in April 1968, the Black Student Union has served as an advocacy organization for black students for 50 years now and is the first and oldest minority student organization at UA. To commemorate this milestone, the UA BSU will host a weekend-long celebration April 19-21, which will include a variety of events, from a talent show to the Black and White Gala. The gala will feature performances from students in the Dance and Theatre department, Music School and African American Literature program, meant to highlight “the best and brightest” African- American students, according to a letter sent to the Black Faculty and Student Association by vice president Darnell Sharperson. The weekend’s events hope to connect the alumni and current students through celebration.

Dark-Web Trolls

Why the Right’s dark-web trolls are taking over YouTubeVanity Fair – Mar. 1

While the far right has been active in its own echo chamber for decades—think obscure subReddits, 4chan, and 8chan—its push into mainstream platforms is relatively new. “It was only when they started to insert themselves into other online spaces that the far right started enjoying more success,” George Hawley, a political-science professor at The University of Alabama and author of Making Sense of the Alt-Right, told me. At first, these efforts mostly targeted the comment sections of news stories, which “allowed them to be seen by a large number of people.” When outlets started to crack down on comments, however, these groups migrated to places like Twitter and YouTube. “Twitter was even more valuable for the far right, as it allowed anonymous users to directly interact with public figures and spontaneously launch semi-coordinated trolling campaigns,” Hawley said. YouTube, too, is important, allowing users who may not be seeking out right-wing content to stumble upon it organically.

Mass Shooters

Adam Lankford

Dr. Adam Lankford

For many mass shooters, armed guards aren’t a deterrent, they’re part of the fantasyWashington Post – Mar. 1

Speaking at a bipartisan meeting on school safety this week, President Trump reiterated his belief that arming teachers would prevent school shootings like the one in Parkland, Fla … “Because many offenders are suicidal and expect to be shot and killed, they wouldn’t be deterred by places with armed guards or gun-toting citizens,” said criminologist Adam Lankford, who studies mass shootings at The University of Alabama. “In fact, a significant subset of these offenders have specifically targeted government buildings and military facilities” — places where armed opposition is all but certain.
Tuscaloosa News – March 1
LMT Online (Laredo, Texas) – March 1
Macomb Daily (Michigan) – March 1
Bucks County Courier Times (Pennsylvania) – March 1
Doylestown Intelligencer (Pennsylvania) – March 1
Victorville Daily Press (California) – March 1
Topeka Capital-Journal (Kansas) – March 1
Columbus Community News (Ohio) – March 1
The Courier-Tribune (Asheboro, North Carolina) – March 1
Go Upstate (South Carolina) – March 1
East Bay Times (California) – March 1
San Jose Mercury News (California) – March 1
Mt. Shasta News (California) – March 1

Miss Alabama

Miss Alabama Jessica Proctor tours Ascension Leadership Academy, ASB as part of reading eventAnniston Star – Mar. 1

Despite stormy weather, Miss Alabama 2017 Jessica Procter on Thursday brightened the day of Ascension Leadership Academy and Alabama School for the Blind students during her visit to both campuses as part of “Read Across America 2018.” … Procter is a senior at The University of Alabama and will resume her studies this fall, majoring in interdisciplinary studies with a focus on music and communication, and minoring in psychology.

Detroit Symphony Orchestra

DSO salutes black music, musicians ‘Classical Roots’Detroit News – Mar. 1

Crowning this weekend’s Classical Roots Concerts at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra will be a 150-voice choir performance of “Scenes from the Life of a Martyr,” just one month short of the 50th anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination … Playing the French horn in the Mozart concerto will be Williams, a University of Alabama doctoral candidate who won last year’s International Horn Competition of America.

Imported Sand

Asia’s hunger for sand takes a toll on endangered speciesNEWS Caf – Mar. 1

Singapore is attempting to reduce its reliance on imported sand for its land reclamation projects. Much of the fill for a new container port in Tuas, on the island s west coast, is from domestic dredging and excavation … “The very best sand for construction is river sand; it s the right particle size and shape,” says David Shankman, professor emeritus of geography at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, who studies the hydrology of Poyang Lake, a repository of sand deposited by Yangtze River tributaries.

UA Opera Theatre

UA to present opera ‘Semele’ on SundayTuscaloosa News – Mar. 2

The University of Alabama Opera Theatre will present its production of “Semele” on Sunday. The opera, with music by Handel, tells the story of a princess who dreams of immortality through an affair with the god Jupiter. The production is directed by Paul Houghtaling and conducted by Blake Richardson.

Allen Bales Theatre

Theater Review: ‘Bright Room’ uses unreal setting to deliver messageTuscaloosa News – Mar. 3

Godwin’s Law: The longer online dialogue extends, the greater chance Hitler will arise. That didn’t originate with the ’Net. The Nazi monster’s been parodied and prodded relentlessly by historians, documentarians, and artists from Charlie Chaplin to Walt Disney to Mel Brooks, ad nauseum … “A Bright Room Called Day” has its final showing at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Allen Bales Theatre on The University of Alabama campus.